College of Ag Sciences Alumni Society grows endowment for student scholarships

May 12, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- In 2014, the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society pledged $100,000 to create a new endowment in support of student scholarships. Now, the society is doubling down to enhance that fund and help more students with their educational expenses.

Another pledge of $100,000 from the society will boost the principle of the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society Trustee Scholarship endowment. Because the endowment was created when the University was offering an enhanced 10 percent annual match for Trustee Scholarships -- up from the current rate of 5 percent -- the new pledge will be matched at this enhanced rate. The University match continues in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

Eric Cowden, alumni society president, noted that the initial five-year pledge of $100,000 was paid off in only two years.

The College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society is a constituent group under the Penn State Alumni Association umbrella. Its mission is to connect, serve and recognize alumni, students and faculty by fostering relationships, commitment and pride. The organization plays a vital role in supporting the college, students and alumni programming.

In addition to this scholarship, the society has funded two other endowments. The Internship Award Endowment supports a competitive awards program that encourages undergraduate students to participate in internships and recognizes the importance of planned, on-the-job learning experiences. The society also created the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund, providing support for students who demonstrate leadership qualities and have a demonstrated financial need.

In 2015, the Alumni Society's scholarship endowments provided more than $45,000 in assistance to 26 students.

"The society's top priority is student support, which includes enhancing education, ensuring student opportunities, enriching student experiences, fostering creativity and providing financial support through the society's three endowments," Cowden said. "Investing in these endowments allows the society to invest in the next generation -- the future of our agricultural industry."

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. Created in 2002, the program has raised more than $135 million in new, need-based aid for undergraduates who might not otherwise be able to afford a Penn State degree. Penn State is now providing an annual 5 percent match for new endowments of $100,000 or more.

Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty; enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education.

The University's colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.



(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 12, 2016